Fort Porter (1)

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Fort Porter (1) (1841-1921) - First established as a large two story stone blockhouse in 1841 at the terminus of the Erie Canal in Buffalo, Erie County, New York. Named after General Peter B. Porter (1773-1844), officer in the War of 1812 and U.S. Secretary of War (1828-1829), one-time part owner of Niagara Falls. Abandoned in 1921 and destroyed in 1926.

Fort Porter Site, Oliver Hazard Perry Statue

Early Years

The fort was initially constructed between 1841-1844 as a 62' square, two story stone blockhouse. The blockhouse was surrounded by earthworks and a moat. Later pictures of this structure also refer to it as the "Magazine". The commandant's quarters, known as the "Castle", was a preexisting stone building built in 1836 as a house for Col James McKay. The "Castle" was a part of the original $50,000 land purchase of the fort site in 1841.

U.S. Civil War 1861-1865

The fort was used as a recruiting and processing center for Union recruits during the U.S. Civil War. Ten 60' by 18' barracks were constructed in 1861 to house the recruits. On 24 Nov 1863 the blockhouse was burned out and arson by "bounty-jumpers" being held there was suspected.

Post U.S. Civil War

After the U.S. Civil War the fort was regularly garrisoned and later became an infantry post.

The post was described in 1870 as having two single company barracks built in April 1867 with frame one-story cottages for the officers. All the buildings were badly built of unseasoned lumber and were very uncomfortable in the winter. The post had an "L" shaped frame hospital, a quartermaster/commissary storehouse and a two story stone guardhouse. The total area of the post was described as 20 acres.

In November 1888 the demolition of the old blockhouse was completed.

The post served as a recruiting and processing station in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.

World War I (1917-1918)

In 1917, during World War I, the post was again a recruiting and processing station and on 10 Nov 1917 it was designated U.S. General Hospital #4. General Hospital #4 became one of the first psychiatric hospital to treat returning troops with combat related psychiatric problems.

The fort was abandoned in 1921 and destroyed in 1926 to make way for the Peace Bridge between Buffalo and Fort Erie in Canada.

Current Status

Destroyed, no remains.

Location: Buffalo, Erie County, New York.

Maps & Images

Lat: 42.9005556 Long: -78.8966667



Visited: 11 Aug 2012

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